Van Amersfoort Racing have signed Franco Colapinto for the 2022 season, with the Argentinian racer completing their driver line-up, along with Rafael Villagómez and Reece Ushijima.

The Buenos Aires-born racer will step up on the back of a busy season, where he dovetailed single-seater and LMP2 racing.

Finishing sixth in Formula Regional European Championship by Alpine, Colapinto also made appearances in the European and Asian LeMans Series and the FIA World Endurance Championship – LMP2.

The 18-year-old made his F3 debut at the post-season test in Valencia, setting the fastest time on the second day.

“I really enjoyed my first time in the F3 car,” said Colapinto. “It is obviously way more powerful than the FRECA car, but at the same time has surprisingly similar driving characteristics to the LMP2 car; fast and loads of downforce.

“A significant difference to the LMP2 class will of course be tyre management, but I like that intelligent part of racing. I really look forward to teaming up with Van Amersfoort Racing as they have such a strong history.

“They take their return to the FIA F3 championship extremely serious, and I am really excited to be part of that journey. The crew is motivated and an absolute pleasure to work with. Pre-season testing at Bahrain is just around the corner and I can’t wait for it to start!”

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Colapinto made his F3 debut with VAR at the post-season test in Valencia
Colapinto made his F3 debut with VAR at the post-season test in Valencia

Colapinto made his single-seater debut in the final round of the 2018 Spanish Formula 4 Championship, winning the last of four races. Stepping up full-time in 2019, the Argentine dominated the series, winning 11 times and taking 14 podiums overall.

He then spent 2020 competing in Formula Renault Eurocup and the Toyota Racing Series, placing third in both Championships, before the move to Formula Regional for 2021.

VAR CEO Rob Niessink said: “We are excited to have Franco on board for our debut season in FIA F3. Looking at his career so far, he has shown to not only possess a good portion of raw talent, but that he also has the capability to quickly adapt to circumstances.

“We had our eye on him already as a potential candidate, which was reinforced after seeing him perform during the post-season test at Valencia, early November last year. We have thoroughly structured our F3 team over the winter period and are more than ready to hit the track early March in Bahrain.”